Trying To De-Ice Pavement? Choose Your Method Carefully

Winter can bring a beautiful blanket of snow and icicles that glisten in the sun. However, when it comes to the practicalities of everyday life, freezing temperatures and icy pathways become a major concern. De-icing pavements is crucial to avoid slips, falls, and potential accidents. With various de-icing methods available, it is essential to choose the right approach. This blog post will outline different de-icing strategies and the factors to consider when selecting an appropriate method.

De-Icing Methods

Rock Salt (Sodium Chloride)

Rock salt, commonly known as sodium chloride, is one of the most popular methods used for de-icing products. It is budget-friendly and widely available. Rock salt lowers the freezing point of water, melting the ice into a slushy mixture that is easier to remove. However, the effectiveness of rock salt diminishes at temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6 degrees Celsius).


  • Affordable and readily available
  • Easy to apply


  • Less effective in extreme cold
  • Can damage concrete
  • Harmful to plants and pets

Calcium Chloride

Calcium chloride is another effective option for de-icing products. It is a hygroscopic material that absorbs moisture, generating heat to melt the ice. Calcium chloride works well even in very low temperatures, up to -25 degrees Fahrenheit (-32 degrees Celsius). It is also biodegradable and relatively safe for the environment.


  • Effective in extreme cold
  • Rapid ice-melting action


  • More expensive than rock salt
  • Can cause deterioration of concrete
  • May be harmful if ingested by pets

Magnesium Chloride

Increasingly popular, magnesium chloride works in a similar way as other chloride-based de-icers, melting ice by lowering its freezing point. It is effective in temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit (-25 degrees Celsius) and is considered more environmentally friendly compared to other chloride-based options.


  • Effective in low temperatures
  • Less harmful to plants and animals


  • Moderately expensive
  • Can cause damage to concrete

Eco-friendly Alternatives

There are also a variety of eco-friendly alternatives available, such as beet juice, corn-based products, and sand. These alternatives cause less damage to the environment, pavements, and are safer for pets, albeit generally less effective than chloride-based options.


  • Environmentally friendly
  • Safe for pets and plants
  • Less damage to pavements and surfaces


  • Less effective in extreme cold
  • May be more expensive than traditional alternatives


In conclusion, when selecting a de-icing method for your pavement, it is essential to consider factors such as cost, effectiveness at different temperatures, environmental impact, and safety for both humans and pets. No single solution is perfect for all scenarios. However, being aware of the options available and their respective pros and cons will help you make a more informed choice about the right de-icing method to keep your pavements safe this winter.

Bagged Salt Isn’t Always the Best Choice For De-Icing

As winter approaches, we all anticipate the beautiful, white snowscape that transforms our surroundings into a magical wonderland. However, along with its beauty, snowfall brings some treacherous conditions, particularly for drivers and pedestrians. Many turn to rock salt salt as the go-to de-icing solution, but is it really the best choice? Let’s discuss.

The Common Practice: Salt for De-Icing

Rock salt is a widespread solution for combating slippery, icy surfaces during the winter months. It works by lowering the freezing point of water, essentially melting the ice or preventing it from forming. For many, this is an easy and convenient way to ensure safety in snowy conditions.

However, despite its popularity rock salt is not without its drawbacks.

Downsides of Using Salt

Firstly, the environmental impact of rock salt is considerable. Salts can leach into the ground, disrupting vegetation and contaminating groundwater. This can harm local wildlife and, eventually, find its way into our water systems.

Secondly, salt is corrosive. This can lead to premature degradation of our pathways, driveways, and even the undercarriages of our vehicles. The costs of these repairs can soon add up and become a significant financial burden.

Lastly, salt only works effectively at certain temperatures, above 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Below this, the de-icing capabilities of rock salt become significantly less effective.

Alternatives To Salt For De-Icing

Recognizing these drawbacks, many are exploring alternatives to bagged salt for de-icing. These could be more environmentally friendly and effective in both low and high temperatures.

  • Calcium Chloride: A potent alternative to rock salt salt, calcium chloride absorbs moisture from the environment and heats up, effectively melting the ice. Its ability to work at much lower temperatures than rock salt, and in lesser quantities, makes it a favorite for many. However, like rock salt, calcium chloride is potentially harmful to the environment and can cause corrosive damage.
  • Magnesium Chloride: This offers similar benefits as calcium chloride but poses fewer risks to the environment and is less corrosive.
  • Beet Juice: An innovative solution that’s gaining popularity is the use of beet juice, often mixed with small quantities of traditional de-icing salts. This substance lowers the freezing point of water and, thanks to its sticky nature, stays on roads for a longer time. Moreover, it is entirely biodegradable and non-corrosive.
  • Sand and Coffee Grounds: A green and economical alternative is to use sand or coffee grounds. While they will not melt the ice, they can provide much-needed traction on slippery surfaces.


While rock salt salt may be the conventional choice for de-icing during the winter months, it’s worth considering some of the more eco-friendly and potentially effective alternatives available. Not only can these help reduce environmental damage and slow down the degradation of our infrastructure, but they may also work more effectively at varying temperatures.

What’s In Liquid De-Icer, And Where Can You Use It?

Winter weather often brings picturesque snowfall, but it can also create dangerous icy conditions on roads, walkways, and other surfaces. Enter de-icing solution, your secret weapon for maintaining safety during the cold months. But what exactly is in de-icing solution, and where can you use it? Let’s explore.

Understanding De-Icing Solution

De-icing solution is a solution utilized to melt ice or prevent its formation. Available in various brands and formulations, it can be sprayed directly onto surfaces. Instead of waiting for the traditional solid de-icers like rock salt to dissolve, the liquid version starts working instantly.

Components In Liquid De-Icing Solution

The most frequently used ingredients in liquid de-icer are:

  • Calcium Magnesium Acetate (CMA): This is a salt-free option, making it less corrosive and safer for concrete surfaces while being environmentally friendly.
  • Calcium Chloride: A more traditional de-icing choice, calcium chloride is effective even at very low temperatures. However, it can be corrosive and potentially harmful to vegetation.
  • Potassium Acetate: Very effective at lower temperatures, but also possibly corrosive and, in high quantities, can pose a risk to aquatic life.
  • Magnesium Chloride: This is less corrosive and less harmful to vegetation than some other options but can become less effective in extreme cold.
  • Glycols: Glycols, such as propylene glycol or ethylene glycol, are often used in airplane de-icers due to their lower freezing points.

Where Can You Use Liquid De-Icing Solution?

De-icing solution is versatile in its applications, and it can be used on a variety of surfaces:

  • Roads and Sidewalks: Spraying de-icing solution on roadways and sidewalks is a common practice for preventing ice formation. This can make a significant difference in improving public safety during winter.
  • Parking Lots: Commercial buildings and offices often use liquid de-icer in their parking lots to ensure safety for employees and visitors.
  • Runways: Airports make use of de-icing solution on runways to prevent accidents and maintain smooth operation of planes during winter months.
  • Stairs and Entrances: For residential use, de-icing solution is often used on staircases and entrances to houses to prevent slipping incidents.

Roofs: Care should be taken with rooftop usage due to potential runoff, but some products are safe for these surfaces.


De-icing solution is an extremely effective tool for combating icy and slippery conditions in the harsh winter months with its instant action. While it offers plenty of benefits, it’s crucial to consider the formulation you choose due to the varying environmental impacts and corrosiveness of different ingredients.

In selecting a de-icer, ensure you consider the specific needs of your surfaces, local temperature conditions, and the product’s characteristics before making a choice. This will help you maintain safety while minimizing potential damaging effects. De-icing solution stands as proof that, with smart solutions at hand, we can bravely face even the coldest winters.